You always benefit from criticism


Invariably we feel disturbed when someone criticizes us. We brood over such instances and we become all the more tensed. We consider our critics to be our enemies and hate them. Even from realistic perspective our critics are our well wishers. Infact they are doing a job of a good psychotherapist not for any psychological disease but they want to find out their weakness and short comings. A psychotherapist interviews you or with help of some psychological tests he is able to pin point your personality drawbacks and weaknesses and takes handsome fees from you whereas the critics are doing the same job of finding your weaknesses and drawbacks without taking any fees from you. Therefore you should feel happy about it and thank them.

Your critics are acting like a magnifying lens. They tend to magnify negative points of your life. Your critic bay magnify your negative points ten times, hundred times even more hence when you meet with criticism do a self analysis and accept those negative points if they are there your life even in a very small percentage. Make efforts for sale transformation. Very rarely will you find that someone criticizes you on a particular point which is not a part of you life at all. If this is the case you should not bother about all but as I explained earlier such occasions will be very very rare. Invariably the particular point is a part of your life to a small extent and your critics tend to enlarge it. For example: If you keep your things neat and clean no one will criticize you for not keeping things in the proper place. Similarly, you are a humble person no one will say that you are egoistic. Only if you have some ego, your critics will exaggerate the matter and put them before others. Therefore, whenever you meet criticism learn to look at things in retrospective way and remove those negative tendencies.

When someone criticizes you rather than becoming unhappy and remorseful you should feel happy and joyous because if you are doing routine things and don't try to progress in life no one will criticize you. The moment you do some thing productive and try to excel other people who envy you will tend to pass adverse comments against you. This implies that criticism is a sign of 'PROGRESS', When you

progress in your life or get a promotion you feel happy about it. Criticism is also a similar occasion and you should feel joyous on such instances. While the shooting of any motion picture is going on there is a helper who at regular intervals shows the mirror to the main actor. This helps the main actors to correct his make-up if necessary. Similarly, your critics are also doing the job of the helper projecting your weakness and negative points. It is said that for an efficient functioning of any government there is need for a healthy opposition. Similarly we need critics for our all round development If no one criticizes you, you will never be able to correct your mistakes. Hence, from now on when someone criticizes you, think over the above mentioned points and use criticism for self development.

Practice mental filing system

 Mr. Jayesh a young executive was travelling with me in a train.  On learning that I was a psychotherapist, he questioned: "I am fairly efficient in my work but often I have to do many things at a time. I become anxious and confuse because of it. I am not able to take quick decisions and my efficiency in lowered" On further inquiry he revealed that he had an extremely competitive nature. He wanted to do too many things at a time. I advised him to adopt the filing system. This system helps in relieving tension and confusion. It also improves ones working efficiency. We divide all our interests, responsibilities, problems, etc., in the form of different files. At one time we take out only one file, open that file, look into those matters, take the appropriate decision and also the necessary action. Once you have done justice to that particular file you can take out another file and concentrate on those matters. In this manner if you do justice to one thing at a time you will not become confused and your overall productivity will also increase. While you have opened one file if thoughts of other subjects come to your mind don't open another file at the same time. Instead tell yourself now I am working with this file. I will open the another file the appropriate time and honestly look into that matter. This means when you are studying, open the file of studies only, keeping other files aside. When you spend time with your children totally enjoy those moments. When you are doing office work concentrate fully on office work, other thoughts are bound to intrude when you follow this system but don't be disturbed by them. Tell yourself now 1 have opened this particular file and I will open the other file only after some time. With a few months of practice you will be conditioned to fully concentrate on one thing at a time.

Take life one day at a time

 This very popular slogan when adopted in life can minimise lot of our sorrows, worries, guilt feelings and unnecessary tension. I have seen many patients who keep recalling past deeds and feel guilty about them. Mr. D'sousa who consulted me for compulsive hand washing revealed after some sessions of psychotherapy that when he was young he used to steal small articles from the neighbors house. In adult life this memory continuously disturbed him and unconsciously and unknowingly he succumbed to compulsive hand washing. Feeling guilty about your past deeds does not help you in anyway because the past is already over. Past is gone. Past is like a cancelled cheque which you will not be able to incash under any circumstances. At the most you can learn a lesson from past experiences. Another segment of society comprises of people who worry about their future. Mr. Tripathi was a very wealthy business man but he constantly worried about his future. His thoughts were "What would happen if I suffer a great loss? Who will look after my business if I die? How would my business prosper if my children were uncapable of looking after the business?. Due to such unrealistic worries he remained anxious and insecure. Psychologists have shown that over 85 of our worries never become reality in our life Infact the future is yet not born and any sensible person would laugh at us if we worry about a child who is yet to be born. Future is like a promisory note and we are not sure whether we will get that money or not. Although we do not know what would happen in future, rather than worrying it is sensible to be optimistic about the future.

Only the present that is today is in our hand. We can make our today productive and useful. If we utilize our today in the best possible manner and do useful activity we will be able to erase some of our past mistakes and our future will definitely become bright. Rather than feeling guilty about not having studied seriously and hence not possessing a respectable qualification, it is wiser and appropriate to take up some course of adult education now. Or put efforts in improving upon your skills. Due to the sedentary life style and over eating in past, if you have put on weight rather than feeling guilty about it, exercise regularly and also follow a proper diet so that you can loose the extra weight.

You are a Unique Person in this World

 Half the tensions, unhappiness and sorrow which we experience in our life is because we compare ourselves with others. Due to such comparison, we feel, we are inferior to others. You feel that you are less priviledged. They are happy beings and since you don't possess the luxury you are an unhappy person. Parents tends to compare their children with their neighbours children and think that the neighbours child is good in specific game and your child is comparatively weak Children think that neighbours parents are more lenient than their parents or you may thank that your wife is less educated than your friends wife. Such comparison continues throughout our life. So the next time you compare just learn to see brighter side of life.

Remember that you are a unique person in this word. Your finger prints, your face, the single hairs of your head, everything that you possess are unique in itself Aell You must feel proud about your own uniqueness. Utilise your uniqueness in the best manner for your self developments and for helping the society. Even if you want to the compare yourself with others, compare with the less privileged ones. Look at your own blessings and the positive side and the positive side of you family members. Your child may not be very good at a particular game but he may be doing very well in studies Appreciate that your child is doing very well in studies as compared to your neighbours child. Also ponder over the fact that your wife is very co-operative and good at cookie even though she is less educated. Even if you don't have specific luxuries, but you may be keeping good health. Even you compare do it with good spirit think that if my friend has some good qualities, I will also work hard and develop them. Such positive comparison will motivate you to do some positive actions. In final analysis always repeat the following lines to yourself, "I am a unique person in this world and I will develop according to my uniqueness. I am also happy about my uniqueness."

Develop Positive Attitudes

 Everyone of us faces one or other type of stressful situations in our life. How we react to a particular event depends on several factors. One of the important factors is our attitude towards a particular event. When four persons have to face a specific stressful event, all the four persons are going to react in a different way which depends on their attitude towards a particular event. Let us consider a situation. You have called your friends at home and you request your wife to bring tea for them, by chance when she is bringing the tea, the tea spills. In this type of situation you may react in different manners. You may start abusing your wife and accuse her of being careless. Second reaction may be that you tell her to be careful in future. The third still positive reaction is you may say what has happened is in the past. Let's enjoy the remaining tea. You may help your wife to clean the floor. These three different reactions are because of your different attitudes. If you don't like your wife or you are already under tension you may tend to say abusive words to your wife and tend to project your anger on her. If you are a positive thinker and have a optimistic attitude towards life, you may develop the third positive reaction.

One day when you come home from a long tiring working day and find that your house is locked and your wife has gone somewhere elsewhere. In this type of situation you can have different reactions. You may become upset thinking that she knew that this was the time for me to come home  why should she go out? Second negative reaction may be you become suspicious about her character. The positive reaction can be you can open the door and relax for sometime and rationalise that she must have gone for some urgent work. As explained earlier these three reactions also depend on your attitudes. Develop a habit of looking at every event from a positive angle When you see a half filled glass of milk. The negative attitude is that the glass is half empty and the positive attitude is that at least I have got half full glass of milk. Likewise look at all circumstances from a positive angle.

  Your past experiences, parental teaching, the type of books which you read, etc., tend to shape your attitudes . Remember even if you have some painful negative past memories, you are not always going to encounter the same past experiences. Its time we learn a lesson from our past experiences but need not become pessimistic and negative thinker because of such negative experiences. If your parental teachings have implanted some negative suggestions in your mind, with help of proper understanding and logical thinking try to erase them. The spiritual knowledge and meditation practice benefits in transforming our attitude towards various life events. With some practice everyone can develop the art of positive attitudes. Once you learn this you will automatically look at the brighter side of each situation and will become immune to various types of tensions.

Your attitudes also depends on your past conditioning You may be conditioned to find out faults of others or you may be conditioned to look at your own weaknesses. You may be conditioned to feel jealous of others or to criticise others. If any such conditions are the cause of your wrong attitude, first of all consciously perceive them and put efforts of deconditioning and reconditioning your attitudes.

For positive attitudes we should also adapt a positive belief system in our life. If you believe that life is a mystery or a gamble, you will automatically tend to have a negative attitudes feel sorrow in midst of all life events. Instead, have positive belief system. During the very first step of meditation practice, when you become aware of yourself as an eternal and immortal, metaphysical point of life energy which is perpetually peaceful, happy and a pure being, you are developing a positive belief system. When you identify yourself with this physical body and direct your endeavours accordingly you tend to think that the life is a temporary phenomenon. Death is the end of your existence. You tend to develop a fear of death. Instead teachings of meditation help you to identify yourself with the metaphysical light within. You feel detached, secure and fearless in your life. You understand, realize and perceive that this body is just an instrument which I the soul use to express myself. Temporarily use various organs of the body and as soon as the task is over I once again detach myself from the mundane instrument This body is like a horse and I the soul, the point of light within is like a jockey. I am the controller of all my physical organs.

The body is like a temple and the point of divine light within is like a worship worthy deity.

The body is like a car and I am the driver who controls the car and use it in order to reach to my chosen destiny. Such a positive belief system is of tremendous value in leading a happy, healthy and harmonious life.

Ponder Over Advantages or Look at the Brighter Side of Life

 In every event of your life, however small or big it may he there is some direct or indirect advantage. Make it a habit of finding out that advantage and pondering over it. In some circumstances we may find there is no direct advantage but invariably we can find some indirect advantage It may so happen that the disadvantage is very big but a small advantage is present in all situations. Learn to search for such small and indirect advantages too. Doctor Majumdar, former Director of CFTRI at Mysore went to Mount Abu, the International Headquarter of Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University to take a three days course in Raja Yoga While he was returning he suffered from Diarrhoea". He had to face several inconvenience because of this problem. Outwardly, speaking there were several disadvantages in this particular situation While narrating his experience he said "I had learned the art of positive thinking at Mount Abu hence I started thinking positively. During those days I had accumulated extra fat on my belly and I was putting on extra weight. Due to this diarrhoea which lasted for a week or so, 1 had lost the extra fat. I thought indeed I needed this type of treatment. Infact, the curse of diarrhoea was converted into a blessing. This is an example of finding indirect advantage in an unpleasant situation.

I wish to narrate some of my personal experiences to clarify the point. Before fourteen years I was extremely underweight. Inspite of putting efforts, I was unable to put on weigh 1 had a hectic schedule of giving lectures in various parts. of India During that period I had an attack of tuberculous meningitis in which I remained semi-conscious for a few weeks. It took almost 3 to 4 months to recover merely for continuous headache and vomiting I and my family members suffered a lot. Thus outwardly speaking it was an extremely stressful situation but even in midst of such a stressful event experienced a great benefit. I had put on 5 to 7 kgs. of weight which is very much needed. After the whole incidence was over, I started thinking whatever has happened, has happened for my benefit. Now my weight is normal and I feel happy about that This does not mean we fall sick inorder to regain necessary weight. But this is an of finding benefits in the midst of some inevitable stressful situations Another personal event which was very much stressful to begin with, became a great boon later on in my life. During pre-medical studies I had the problem of hair loss. Because of this problem I was the recipient of many adverse comments from my friends and others. I was looking five years older than my actual age. This unpleasant part of ay personality for which there was no treatment available became a great boon when I started my private medical practice in Bombay where there is a lot of competition, it s very difficult for a beginner to do well in private practice But even during the early days of my practice, patients considered me as an experienced and senior doctor, developed a faith and confidence in me. With this experience I became very positive and optimistic in my life. I am very much convinced that whatever happens is for the good and has some definite advantage.

You must have read the story of a king who had a very optimistic minister who always used to say that there is some benefit in whatever happens in life. Accidentally, once the king's little finger was cut off. On knowing this incident the minister said" don't worry whatever has happened has some advantage in it". The king got extremely annoyed and kept the minister behind the bars. Yet the minister said whatever has happened is for the best" After some days when the king went to the jungle for hunting he was caught by the tribes of the jungle. They wanted to sacrifice him on the goddess. But the rule said it was necessary to sacrifice a complete human being. When they found out that one finger of the king was amputed they disqaulified him. He felt very happy and remembered the words of his minister that there is always some advantage in every events of life. The king went to the prison and told the story to his minister. On hearing the story the minister replied "because you had put me in the prison I am safe otherwise I would have accompanied you and because I am a complete human being the tribe would have sacrificed me on their goddess". As described in this story at times we may not see any instant advantage in a particular event but in future that event can bring us some benefit.

Here are two real life incidences in which benefits were experienced in the near future. During the 1940's Mr.Shekh was scheduled to travel Bombay to London by a steamer. As he was walking towards the seaport he met with a small accident in which his right leg was fractured. Due to this small accident he had to cancel his trip. Indeed this was very disappointing but after three weeks he got the news that the steamer had drowned and all the passengers had lost their lives. Thus that small accident saved the life of Mr.Shekh from a major mishap which would have cost him his life.

Mr. Pradeep who also met with a small accident. Even after complete treatment, some deformity in his left leg persisted and he experienced difficulty in walking. He cursed himself and the accident which caused the disability to his suffering. Recently, when Bombay Suburban train department started a small special compartment for the disabled persons, he was able to take the benefit of this facility. He said, "I am lucky because of this small problem I don't have to travel in overcrowded suburban trains. This does not means we become disabled to take the priviledge travelling in the special compartment Bot what I mean when you already face the stressful situation you can lessen the pain or depression by looking for some benefit immediately or in the future.

The message is very simple. "Search for advantages in every event of your life and make a practice to ponder over them rather than the mishaps". If you do this in all spheres of your life like personal life, family life, your job environment, ete you will indeed feel that you are a lucky person.

Make Locus of Control Internal

 In my practice, I have asked a large number of patience a simple question, "Whom do you think is responsible for your stress?" Invariably patients consider someone else to be responsible for their stress. Old female patients point these finger towards their daughter-in-law and consider them to be the main cause of their tension. The young housewives feel that their mother-in-law have caused all problems. Likewise during my training programmes for Managers and Union Leaders of multinational companies, I found that Union Leaders consider lack of initiative on part of the management to be the primary cause of their problem and management personnel point their fingers towards Union Leaders and feel that non co-operation of Union Leaders is the basis of tension in the company. Similarly, parents say that their adolescent child is the cause of their High Blood Pressure and the teenagers feel that parents are not able to understand them and that is the root cause of all their anxiety. When we consider someone else to be responsible for our stress our locus of control becomes external. This means control is not in our own hands. Someone else is controlling our state of mind. Someone else is pulling our mental strings. We behave like puppets and the controller is someone else. In certain cases it may be true that some other person or environmental factors are responsible for the stress. But when we blame others our condition becomes helpless. We are not able to do anything to minimize our stress.

From a psychological point of view too this is a misconception because you cannot experience any stress unless there is a thought about it at a conscious level or at least at subconscious level.

Only when we have some negative thoughts or thoughts of anxiety, depression, nervousness, jealousy, fear, etc., we feel those state of mind and in turn perceive them as stress. If we do not think about stressful situations then we will not experience stress. If we think about peace, happiness and relaxation even in the midst of stressful situations we can experience a positive state of mind. This implies that our thoughts are the basis of our feelings. We are able to raise our hands or put them down as per our desires. Similarly, we can think positively or negatively as per our desires. This implies that to a great extent we are in-charge of our thought processes. We can surely turn our thoughts in a desired direction, and in turn transform our mental feelings to a certain extent. The above explanation also implies that we are the master of our own mind. By following this principle we can make our locus of control internal. To explain this point let us take few examples:


Ramesh who failed in the final year B.Com. was extremely depressed after the result He felt like committing suicide. During my second consultation along with medicines, i systematically explained to him that the best approach was to accept the reality and do some positive thinking such a "Now I have learned a lesson This failure is because of the overconfidence I had. For the next six months I will study very hard and do well in my exams". Besides having such positive thoughts I also advised him to practically tan studying 8 to 10 hours a day and systematically prepare himself for examinations,

Jayesh bhai went into construction business. After three years of efforts he came to know that instead of meaning anything he had lost about Rupees Fifteen lakh in the business. Previously he was doing Textile business. Out cd nothing he had developed a flourishing business. On a friend's advice he invested all his savings in construction business. Initially he hoped he would definitely mean a substantial amount but later on realising that he had incurred a great loss he went into reactive depression. I taught him to face this situation with a positive spirit, to accept that in business ups and downs were bound to be there. Once again if he worked hard and systematically planned the business he would be able to compensate the loss. We also discussed the mistakes that he had made. He made up his mind and resolved not to repeat such mistakes in the future. He also started thinking "although I have lost my saving yet I have good apartment and a shop where I can do my business and easily maintain my family". Even in adverse circumstances you can repeatedly think I am a peaceful person. I am feeling happy. I am feeling relaxed and comfortable... I am going to maintain this tranquility and peace of mind. By following this simple method one can retain the tranquility and stability of mind even in stressful situation.

Ultimately we are the incharge of our mind. We are the controller of our mind and hence we are also responsible for the state of mind directly or indirectly. No sooner we learn to take this responsibility than half the battle is won. Now we can also take some creative steps to change our situation. Through proper efforts we can learn new skills, we can develop new positive relationships.

Relaxation Techniques

 Patients facing any type of tensions can achieve benefit from relaxation practice. Relaxation is a general and a non specific antidote for stress factor. Progressive Relaxation by auto suggestion, Jacobson's method of Progressive Relaxation and other conventional methods are useful. From my experience of practicing Raja Yoga meditation for the past 18 years, I can confidently say that meditation is an equally effective method for relaxation. Principles and practices of Raja Yoga are described in Chapter IV. Regular practice of Raja Yoga conditions one's mind to elicit relaxation respond.


 At the end of the 20th century, stress and strain of day. to-day life have reached its highest peak. The Jet Race is in full swing. Mental tension, emotional ups and downs, fear, anger, nervousness, depressive feelings and other stressful situations have an alround effect on human beings. Such experiences influence one's mental apparatus, emotional life and physiological systems adversely Minor problems such as acidity, flatulence (gas in abdomen), headache, backpain, skin diseases and major problems as such high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, asthma, heartpain (Angina pectoris), peptic ulcer and so on can be caused or aggravated due to stress. For Holistic Health Care doctor's need to find out these stress factors and systematically guide the patient to relieve this stress for complete and long term recovery from the disease. Majority of the patients' suffering from psychosomatic diseases consult family physicians or other consultants. Psychiatrists are rarely approached for such psychosomatic diseases. In the majority of cases, stress factor is not taken into account while offering a particular treatment. Usually, doctors give symptomatic treatment for such diseases which do help them temporarily to relieve the symptom, but the stress factor continues to play its role, hence, no sooner the treatment is stopped, the symptom tends to recur.

Even when symptomatic treatment is continued for a long time, another rarely recognized phenomenon known as "Shift of Symptomatology" occurs. This means when you treat one particular symptom, stress influences other organs of the body and the symptoms are shifted. Doctors as well as patients think that this is a different disease but infact the root cause is the same unchecked stress factor. For Holistic

Health Care relieving the stress factor is very significant. It's the unfortunate common observation in the present Health System that the patient continues to suffer from one or another type of element for a long time. He may consult the doctor again and again or may keep on changing doctors without relieving his problems permanently. The burden on medical experts and resources can be greatly reduced if doctors identify the specific stress factors in each patient and suggest simple and practical methods of overcoming them. In this chapter practical tips are explained to relieve the stress factor.

Don't Discuss Serious Matters in Front of Patients

 In teaching Institutes some professors discuss the case in front of students. During such teaching sessions uneducated patients think that they are suffering from some serious disease. When they overhear some technical terms they become confused and frightened. So as far as possible don't discuss the details in front of the patient or at least assure the patient that his case is being discussed only for the purpose of teaching and that there is nothing to worry about.

The above nine points when adapted in day-to-day practice are beneficial in strengthening the doctor-patient relationship. First of all analyze your own behavior with the patient. If you're missing any of the points described in this chapter inculcate those missing attributes for building a good doctor-patient relationship and make conscious efforts in improving it. With some efforts everyone can adapt these primary steps for better doctor-patient relationship.

This is a sensitive area of medical practice because every patient is a unique individual. Therefore, you need to be open and observe all the patients and formulate such strategies which would augment the patient's confidence in you.

Don't criticize other doctors

 If your patient has consulted another doctor before you, and if you find that his diagnosis was not correct don't criticize the doctor in front of the patient. Some doctors in order to assert their superiority make adverse comments about other doctors. Some say wrong medicines were administered and they had harmful effects on the patient's body. Such comments for a professional colleague are not ethical nor do they benefit the patient. Hence it is advisable not to make such comments. Double Blind Research studies have also shown that a patient feels or reacts to medicines/ treatment as per his expectations. When you say that a particular medicine produces adverse effects, the patient starts expecting it.

More significantly, when we make such adverse comments for professional colleagues, the patient develops a wrong impression for the medical profession as a whole and may be one day the ball will be in your court. You cannot become superior by defaming someone else rather put efforts on improving your own abilities.

Don't Loose your temper

Anger is a self destroying emotion. Psychologists have described anger as a temporary insanity. At that spur of moment you become illogical and irrational. Therefore make it a rule that even in extreme situations you will Da loose your temper in front of the patient. You can certain be assertive. There is a difference between assertiveness and anger. If a patient is making disturbing comments or asking useless questions in an assertive manner you can certainly explain your point of view but when you become angry you loose touch with reality and hence you say things which may be irrelevant in that particular context. Even if you have personal or family problems, understand that this is your personal difficulty and you should not project your tensions on your patients in the form of anger. Your patients are like honored guests and you should behave with your patients as you behave with your guests. Moreover the patient gives you the fee for the time he has taken. Some senior do not care if patients go to another doctor. The question is not of monetary gain or loss. When you loose your temper the patient looses his faith in you, hence adversely affecting the healing process.



Keep Patience with Patients

 Every doctor comes across a patient who asks him several unnecessary and unwanted questions. For .e.g. Why have I developed this problem? How long will this problem continue? Should I take these medicine with water or milk?  Should I take these medicines before meals or after meals? Whether the disease would influence her children and so on Even if you think that some of the questions are irrelevant do reply them patiently. Understand that the patient is always impatient and the doctor should not loose his patience with such patients. You can tell the patient in a nice way that those questions were irrelevant and not to worry about all those matters. I will certainly tell you the points which are essential. But you need not worry too much. This will have an adverse effect on your health. Even when patient becomes suspicious or sceptical it is the duty of the doctor to do away with such negative personality traits.

In all our behavior there should not be any sign of impatience or hurry which can be perceived by the patient as a sign of negligence or lack of interest on our part. A doctor friend once took one of his relatives to a very famous surgeon The surgeon after finishing the consultation in a very rough tone said, "two hundred rupees. The patient as well as the doctor who accompanied him felt insulted. They felt that although it was the right of the surgeon to ask for fees, he should have asked them in a proper manner. If you are very busy you may ask your receptionist to collect the fees but never show rough and careless behavior. Your manners certainly play a significant role in improving or deteriorating doctor-patient relationship.

Develop Empathy Towards Patient

 Majority of the patients are aware that they should disclose all their problems to the doctor.  Therefore, the patient may tell you personal matters which may affect you emotionally.

For Holistic Diagnosis it is essential to take all past experiences of the patient into account. Personal and family problems as well as matters of interpersonal relationships having an emotional tone may arouse similar feelings in doctors mind. Doctors may come across such encounters Often this can adversely influence the mental health of the doctor. The doctor must have sympathy towards a patient but should not get involved emotionally. He should try to logically understand the situation and give proper advice to  face the circumstance in peaceful manner but he should not brood over those problems later on. If one has sensitive personality one can tends to carry impressions for a long time. This is harmful for your own health as well as for an ideal doctor patient relationship. A proper attitude towards your job and responsibility would help you in developing empathy towards the patient. Understand that your responsibility is to give proper advice and guide patients to overcome their problems. In no way you are emotionally attached to your patient. If your patient tells you a sad event of his life don't say I am saddened on hearing your experience". Instead say, "I understand your problem and in the midst of such circumstances you can have this type of attitude or you can handle this matter in such a manner. Chandrika, a housewife, who was taking my therapy for her fearful reactions towards her mother-in-law told me, "My mother-in-law always finds faults in me but when I answer her back I feel disturbed myself and think later on I should have not back answered her. I keep on brooding over her words which is all the more painful." I explained to her that both these reactions were undesirable. For improving her mental health she needed to either listen to the comments and not care for them at all by thinking logically that due to her old age mother-in-law is having some emotional problems and hence makes such comments. Or if she thinks that logical convictions are not enough she can give reply to the comments of her mother in-law and then feel that what she has done is absolutely right In this manner, a doctor can show healthy choices to the patient and let the patient choose what would suit his/her personality.

Explain the disease properly

Many doctors on examining the patient prescribe some medicines right away and handover the prescription paper. This is an erroneous approach in treating patients Holistically. After examination do explain your findings to the patient in simple words which your patient can understand. If possible draw simple figures or keep some ready pictures to explain them. If you explain properly the nature of the disease and how your medicines are going to help them, the patients start expecting those beneficial effects and that can have tremendous positive influence in overcoming the disease. If you have given three different types of medicines and also explain the effects of each medicine as well as the side "This medicine has such and beneficial effects but very rarely such a side effect may occur effects by saying worry, even if you observe such an effect, take this particular step." For .e.g. When prescribing an antidepressant don't which may cause dryness in the mouth, always explain to my patient that this medicine will make you feel much better. You will develop interest in your life, You will develop positive attitude but very rarely some patients develop dryness in the mouth. Incase this happens don't worry. Drink lots of water. This kind of advice prepares a patient for a some side effect if any. Sujata who had consulted me for her depressive feeling told me on the second visit, "Doctor, I am very happy. Your medicine had the exact effect that you had explained me. I had a very good positive attitude but 1 felt some dryness in the mouth and as per your advice I drank lot of water."


Learn to listen carefully

 A doctor friend once told me that one of his friends who visited several psychiatrists felt that they neither listened to his problems nor understood them properly and hence the possibility of the right diagnosis and treatment is negligible Many patients leave a doctors chamber with a similar feeling This is not only true for physicians and surgeons but these days even psychiatrists do not listen attentively to a patients complain. Psychiatrist have also become mechanical in their approach.

These days most patients face tensions, emotional problems and other difficulties in their personal family and social life. Therefore, in order to render Holistic Treatment it is essential that not only psychiatrists but other specialist doctors and family physicians should also have a listening attitude. When one attentively listens to the patients entire problem, the information helps one in the final diagnosis. The patient also develops faith in the doctor that he has understood fully my problem and therefore the treatment he will give me will be the right one. It has often been seen that two doctors have given the same medicine to the same patient but there is a significant difference in the results of these medicines. One of the important factor is the patients faith in the doctor. If the patient thinks that the right kind of medicine is given by the doctor it will have a better effect.

At times when you are very busy and you don't have time to listen to a patients problem, instead of avoiding him say, "today, I am busy but the in the next appointment I will spare sufficient time to understand all your related problems." It has been found that over 50% of patients visiting their family physician or any other branch of medicine have some emotional or psychological problems. For offering holistic health care doctors need to recognize his problems and give appropriate suggestions to relieve the difficulties.

Receive patient with a smile

 Whilst consulting your patient don't be mechanical and stereotype. Develop an approach which helps you to remain relaxed and joyous even after examining many patients. In order to have a Holistic effect on the patient, a smiling face is a fundamental necessity. This may be your 25th or 30th patient, but you are the first doctor for the patient to whom he is going to narrate his problems and difficulties, When a patient detects signs of tiredness or seriousness on the doctors face, he tends to think that the doctor is not interested in him.

A few years ago a bus carrying members of a local Raja Yoga Centre met an accident. There were several persons who suffered fractures. I took a few patients to a known  radiologist for X-Rays. Maybe he was tired at the end of the day because he neither received us with a smiling face nor showed any enthusiasm to do the needful. My perception was that although he is known to me he was not interested in helping the patients. So maybe in future it would be better to take the cooperation of another radiologist. Such minor lacunas on the part of the doctor can have a traumatic effect on the patient's mind and one may lose that patient for ever. You may relax for a while after examining some patients, if you feel tired, but never show signs of tiredness on your face in front of your patient. Develop a sense of humor, laugh and make your patients laugh too. This is an antidote to tiredness and stress.

A popular saying goes, You need not have a face which makes you look in the mirror often but have such a face which makes people look at you often." Another tricky situation is while dealing with children. In our society many parents tell their children, "If you don't keep quiet, I will take you to a doctor who will give you an injection." Hence, the child always associates the visit to a doctor with fright and pain. His fears are all the more reinforced when he observes seriousness on the doctor's face. In order to treat children holistically, do spare a couple of minutes talking to the child in a friendly manner so that his misconceptions are erased. You can make use of toys or chocolates to attract the child and make him feel comfortable. Although the above is not part of your medical practice this could make your job very easy in treating children.


 In order to offer Holistic Health Care, one very important gradient is a good doctor-patient relationship. Proper healing can take place only if the patient has confidence and faith in the ability of the doctor. Mr.Mukesh Shah, a 48 year old bank officer came to consult me for his chronic borderline Schizophrenia. He had consulted a senior psychiatrist for his problem. While narrating his past treatments he said, " The senior psychiatrist was not ready to listen to my full history, I doubt whether he understood my problems." If patients develop such impression, then even though the doctor gives the right medicine it will not have the desired effect on the physiological system of the patient. Due to this sense of doubt in the patients mind, negative signals will be given to the bodily organs which will prevent the positive effects of the medicine.

The patients state of mind has an all round effect on all systems of his body, hence positive expectation on the part of the patient plays the pivotal role in the healing processes.

In this chapter nine simple and practical points are described which can easily be adapted by doctors for enhancing better relationship with patients.

Address Patient By First Name

Most frequently it is observed that in hospitals and private practice the patients are addressed by their diseases, bed numbers, etc. While taking rounds a junior doctor may say, "This is a chronic nephritis, this is cirrhosis of liver, this is thyroid goitre and so on. When doctors identify patients in this manner i.e. only by the disease, we completely tend to neglect many other aspects of the patient's personality, environmental influences, life styles, etc., which are significant while offering Holistic Health Care. Unintentionally, while adopting such a mechanical approach we may adversely affect the patients mind. In a civil hospital of a big city, while taking round, a registrar told his honorary, "Sir, this patient is of T.S." on hearing this comment, the patient was terribly disturbed. The patient who was not familiar with the medical term thought that the junior doctor was telling his professor that this patient is in its Terminal Stage (T.S.). In fact the patient was suffering from Tricuspid stenosis.

For a Holistic Health practioner the first and the easiest step is to address all patients preferably by their first name. Every person, however poor or rich, educated or uneducated, likes to hear his/her first name most frequently. The patient also identifies himself with the first name. When you call him by his first name, his mind will respond with a positive regard for you. And at the same time you are addressing his Holistic identity which includes body, mind and spirit.

Several busy medical practioner feel that they have got to see over hundred patients a day and it is very difficult to remember their names. After one of my lectures Dr. Shah told me, " Although I appreciate your suggestion, it is practically not possible to remember names of every patient." In fact it is a genuine difficulty for few busy doctors but yet one needs to put in efforts if one desires to treat patients Holistically. While studying medicine I have observed the miraculous effect of addressing patients by their first name. One of my Gynecologic professors while taking rounds always addressed patients by their first name. She used to say, Sujata, how are you feeling, Daksha is your health improving and so on. I observed that when the female patients were addressed by their first names there was a sign of happiness on their face. The patients waited eagerly for the doctor at the usual time of her round. The professor also taught us how to remember first names of many patients. She said "Most of the names are very common and as I have developed this practice I am easily able to remember them. I Try to associate names of new patients with the names of old patients, my relatives or people I know." This is a very easy technique. When you have to remember any new name try to link this new name with the name of the person whom you already know or an elite or well known person. If your patient's name is Dharmendra don't just memorize his name but think of another person with the same name whom you know. Next time when you meet this patient you will recollect the association which you had made. If your patient's name is Dhiraj' try to remember its meaning which means Patience'. In one particular case I wanted to remember the name of a Brahma Kumari Sister which I had difficulty in recalling. Her name was 'Surekha So once I thought Surekha' means a straight line. In this manner by understanding the meaning of this name I was easily able to remember her name. As quoted in some of the above examples, a little effort will help you to remember your patients name. Surely, for adapting this step of Holistic Health Care, doctors will have to put in these additional efforts. But these additional efforts will in turn give tremendous rewards in the form of a better doctor - patient relationship and rapid healing. If you are a family physician, remembering names of your patient is indeed vital, for those patients are going to visit you quite frequently and if you don't remember their names, the patients will tend to think that this doctor is not interested in me. Jitendra, my close friend was angry with Dr.Majumdar because even after several follow up visits every time Dr.Majumdar asked him What's your name?" Jitendra told me `I seriously doubt the ability of the doctor. IN spite of my several visits he is unable to remember my name. Then how can he remember all the medical information which is necessary for diagnosis and treatment. In spite of making efforts if you still are unable to remember the patients name, don't ask him his name. Instead ask him to give the past prescription or take out his old

records. Once you know his name, use it while taking his history or explaining your treatment. If you do this often it will help you to remember the patient's name. Dr.Majumdar who tends to forget the name of my friend Jitendra could have addressed him in the previous interview by asking, Jitendra, how do you feel now.? Jitendra I am giving you this medicine to be taken twice a day after your meals, and again at the end of the visit Jitendra you will definitely feel better, see me after 15 days." Addressing a patient by his first name during a visit has dual benefits. Firstly, the patient feels very happy on hearing his name. He starts developing faith in the doctor; Secondly, by repeating the patient's name you are able to impress it on your mind.

In subsequent visits as soon as the patient enters your chamber if you address him by his first name you have created a favorable mental attitude towards your treatment. To be a successful in your private practice this is a necessary positive step. This is most necessary in cities where there are many private doctors available and a patient can consult any other doctor if he/she is not happy with your approach and treatment.

Offering Holistic Treatment

The awareness for offering Holistic treatment is needed before a student gets admission in the Medical College. If a student has the motive to serve the society this purpose can be fulfilled.

WHO Expert Committee on the Role of Hospitals at the First referral Level, WHO Technical Report Series No. 744 1987: Health Care managers are usually more concerned with managing the existing hospital facilities adequately than with running the whole health system. In some countries, before admission to a medical or para-medical courses students having a service motive were selected but it was found that after sometime the service motive became secondary to financial benefits. Hence, during medical studies, further lessons for developing and maintaining the thought of service and orientation towards Holistic Health Care must be given. This would change the present scenario. As Janet Quinn critically mentioned:- 'Modern Health Care System does not include or even allow for the practice or healing arts'.

Healing consciousness amongst the health practitioner is essential if we indeed want to develop holistic approach within the health profession. In this connection Paul Blythe says: 'It is essential that practitioners develop a healing consciousness of patient's care is to be moved from disease management to the healing of the whole person.

Secondly, the approach towards the patients need is a radical transformation. As soon as the patient enters in your chamber your consciousness should approach the whole person

Inner Tranquility: As J. Horwood of Australia says: "Healing depends on the quality of the healer and it is in stillness that both doctor and patient begin to experience this beingness. Medical practitioners continuously transfer their mental vibrations to their patients. If you are under tension experiencing conflicts or anger you will transfer those specific vibrations to your patients. Hence, the maxim Doctor heals thyself is relevant in this connection. Regular practice of positive thinking, relaxation and meditation are essential if a doctor desires to emerge as a Holistic Healer. This vital role of meditation is also accepted by many psychiatrists. Late Dr.Ainslie Meares, a psychiatrist, from Melbourne was convinced about the healing powers of meditation. He practiced meditation before conducting classes and hence was able to communicate the peace to others

Paramedical personnel too need the similar consciousness. As Margaret Martin from New Zealand has experienced:- 'Many nurses speak of their awareness of the spark or spirit within their patients and they respond to patients in such a way that they bring this spirit to life again

The treatment strategies of each patient need to include a correction or change in the patient's life-style, behaviour, attitudes, emotions and so on. doctors need to give proper suggestions, teach some methods To achieve this objective or refer to the appropriate person who can take care of these

Creating Holistic Environment

 A positive outcome of any treatment is only possible if the patient has confidence in the doctor who is treating him. It is a common observation of many doctors that though two doctors have given the same medicine of the same dosage to two difficult patients or in some instances to the same patient there was a significant difference in the level of improvement the patients Clinical study conducted implies that if a patient has faith and belief in the doctor, he would show significant improvement to the same medicine to which he had not responded positively earlier when prescribed by another doctor. Even before you actually see your patient and examine him there are two factors which have a great deal of impact on the patient's mind. Firstly, the opinion of the patient whom you have treated earlier and secondly, the environment of our waiting room. For successful healing every doctor should pay some attention to these two factors While treating your patients make efforts in strengthening the doctor-patient relationship which is discussed in the Chapter II. One point which I would like to emphasize about the Doctor Patient relationship is that it's not only the particular patient with whom you have good relation will take benefit from you, but he is also going to talk about you to many of his friends and relatives. And, thus, in this way you will continue to get the returns of your efforts for a long time. It's very much possible that your treatment does not give some patients complete relief. Yet those patients certainly have a good opinion about you. This is possible if you have explained the nature of the disease to those patients and also the possible outcome of the treatment. Hence, do give complete assurance to the patients and at the same time explain that only few patients do not recover completely.

Secondly, the environment of your waiting room is also important. Cleanliness, good vibrations and health promoting colors on the walls of your waiting room are useful. Make such arrangements so that sounds from your consultation room are not heard outside specially if you are a dentist or orthopedic surgeon. Many times the shouts and screams from patients undergoing treatment are frightening to patients waiting outside specially to the children. Children tend to think that the very fact that they have been taken to the doctor means there is something terribly wrong with them. Parents have unknowingly planted in a child's mind the idea that medical treatments are painful. For eg a mischievous child may have been told that if he misbehaved they would take him to the doctor who would give him an injection. If you take care of this environmental factors you become successful in implanting the first positive healing touch on a patient's mind Doctors need to pay attention to their dress and physical appearance. You must have heard the example of a professor who advised the students to take care of their shoes because if patients observe shabby shoes of the doctor they tend to think that when he does not possess the ability to take care of his own shoes certainly he does not possess the skill of taking care of his patients. If things are properly arranged in your clinic and on your table you are able to win the confidence of your patients.
Credit: Brahma kumaris